Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

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Tim L
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Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#16 Postby Tim L » Fri May 22, 2020 5:57 am

Daniel, asking shooters which calibre always becomes an emmotive discussion. It would help to know where you currently sit with gear? Do you have a rifle? Do you reload? How much do you intent to spend and how quickly?
Given the availability of both 308 and CM factory ammo you could go either way with just a rifle, but you aren't going to get the best out of either until you are reloading and tuning the ammo to the gun. That's not to say you won't be competative with factory ammo, but you'll be better with reloads.
So, which way to go?
Get the best scope your budget will allow and get a barnard action. Why a Barnard? Because stocks and barrels are easy to get for that action and whilst there maybe an argument over whether it's the best action, no one can deny it is good enough to compete at the highest level of this sport.
Once you have all that, pick whichever calibre you want because it really doesn't matter. You will be shooting. If you are desperate to win, just be aware Australia is home to the best F open shooters in the world. That said its also home to the only FStd shooters in the world and some of them are pretty damned good. FStd does offer B grade but the top end of that is no picnic.
A CM isn't going to beat a 308 btw, nor is a 308 going to beat a CM, it's the shooter that does the winning,, or losing.
Last point, I don't know what the barrel life is on a CM but a 308 barrel shooting 155s will last a lot longer.

HamonetMM
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Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#17 Postby HamonetMM » Fri May 22, 2020 1:15 pm

Daniel,
Check out chapter 23 NRAA Standard Shooting Rules. An inexpensive great start for an entry level shooter and, with a good scope which, can be used on a later rifle upgrade. Also TR scoring system applies in this discipline. It can be a good intro to handloading. There are a number of good off the shelf rifles available that perform well at long ranges, even the Lithgow product could be a consideration.

williada
Posts: 926
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:37 am

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#18 Postby williada » Fri May 22, 2020 3:09 pm

I'm normally reluctant to give plugs to manufacturers, but in the case of the Lithgow CM all I did was tickle up the elder son's locking lugs and it absolutely hammers on the range and in the field. At home, rabbits are now thin on the ground as well as foxes and deer with well placed shots at good distance. His freezer is chockers with venison. He prefers this rifle over his 30 Tikka WSM in the field. The Lithgow CM is a dam good all round bit of kit that doesn't weigh a ton. It is quick to point and place a shot. Skills demanded in range shooting too when aiming off in rapidly changing conditions.

Other club members also want to try Hunter class on the range having witnessed how competitive this rifle is against their standard gear and FTR gear used by members in our club. Young guys with this gear who know how to shoot will begin to fill our ranks and swell our numbers. That should be a worthy goal. Our movement should be a broad church if it is to survive and capture the hearts of participants rather than focus on elitism. This gear is cheap, fun and develops technique. Should people wish to go further, and try heavy barrels on Barnards, they already have the dies, so the transition to FO is not too hard.

What attracted me to FO was a comment by Alan Fraser, who said it was most pleasurable to shoot an accurate rifle. From what I have seen, those that are using CM in FO at our club on Barnards and aluminium stocks are right up there, and I have seen a few pretenders in my day. Very few prize meetings shoot 1000 yards and most club shooting is up to middle distance, so for the practical use of these lighter calibers, they are certainly not at any disadvantage because they group so tight. Then when you consider the average wind speed across ranges is about 10 mph, changes are easy to dope. Higher velocity also makes up for BC for the best part and most ranges don't accommodate the real longs, then it simply means you are spending most of your time shooting an accurate rifle which costs less to run. Although if 1000 yards is a consideration on a rough day for those who can't read wind, then a 7 SAUM has the upper hand, but it is another skill to tame the recoil with these rifles. Recoil, not BC is the issue.

Team shooting is different and requires travel and consistency for coaching across the squad. Different rifles in different calibres become problematic in travelling with a lot of gear and for the coaches who have to make quick decisions. Most international matches emphasize the longs. That shooting is really a longer term goal for a new shooter who must also get a mentor to excel if they aspire to represent. The dollars involved then become huge.

John T
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Location: Brisbane

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#19 Postby John T » Fri May 22, 2020 4:19 pm

Hello.

There has been no better exponent of the 6.5 calibre than Alan Fraser.

He won many Queen's and was almost unbeatable with his 6.5-284. Yet, for some years, Alan has shot a 284 Shehane.

Daniel, as you seem reluctant to reply here, send a pm to Alan and talk to him.

Regards,
John T.

Gyro
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Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#20 Postby Gyro » Fri May 22, 2020 6:55 pm

Those new Berger 144's might tempt some to look more closely at a 6.5 ? Might be time dust off the 6.5-284 Alan ....

BTW that boolit might need a bit more horsepower than a Creedmore though ?

Jason72
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Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#21 Postby Jason72 » Fri May 22, 2020 6:55 pm

Hi Daniel

As you can see there are many opinions amoungst us shooters but Tim L hit the nail on the head.
I am a shooter and a fisher and both come up with great excuses and blame the gear including the rifle calibre we use.
I have seen all calibres win and the one common denominator is a good shooter who can read the wind and has a good technique.
Easy to blame the gear and calibre but it all boils down to practice and learning from those who are consistent.
Talk to those who do well at club shoots, listen to them, learn and then make up your own mind.

Cheers
Jason

Gyro
Posts: 549
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#22 Postby Gyro » Fri May 22, 2020 7:01 pm

Jason72 wrote:Hi Daniel

As you can see there are many opinions amoungst us shooters but Tim L hit the nail on the head.
I am a shooter and a fisher and both come up with great excuses and blame the gear including the rifle calibre we use.
I have seen all calibres win and the one common denominator is a good shooter who can read the wind and has a good technique.
Easy to blame the gear and calibre but it all boils down to practice and learning from those who are consistent.
Talk to those who do well at club shoots, listen to them, learn and then make up your own mind.

Cheers
Jason


Of course it matters what cartridge/caliber u shoot. Basic physics tells us that.

Jason72
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:23 pm

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#23 Postby Jason72 » Fri May 22, 2020 7:08 pm

Not sure why you selected my post Gyro and posted a comment. My point was I have seen all calibres win at shoots so don't blame the gear.

AlanF
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Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#24 Postby AlanF » Fri May 22, 2020 8:24 pm

Things have changed a lot since I last gave an opinion on calibre choices.

The first thing Daniel needs to decide is which discipline to shoot. He's already had a few F-Class shoots which will help him decide. If he wants a quick start and likes the 6.5 calibre he could go to SH Discipline with a Creedmore perhaps. Otherwise I'd advise getting a Barnard action and good quality 30mm tube scope, and choosing one of the F-Classes that suits his current aspirations. Then if as often happens he wants to try a different F-Class, the action and scope can be fitted with different barrels, stocks and rests to make a highly competitive platform in any of the 3 classes. All 3 classes have unique advantages, and that is probably why they all now have sufficient numbers for meaningful competitions at most prize meetings. F-Std offers the biggest fields, lowest running costs, and equipment specs conducive to a level playing field (at least for .308 shooters). F/TR has relatively light-weight equipment, and growing opportunities for international competition. F-Open is also international, has the most flexibility around specifications which gives it a clear performance advantage. However because there is no direct competition between classes, then that is no big deal.

Regarding calibres, both F-Std and F/TR offer .223 in addition to .308. As a "one gun" solution I would only recommend .223 to those who do not like strong recoil, or those who rarely shoot long range, or compete at major events. The inherent accuracy of the .223 doesn't make up for its performance deficit in tricky conditions at the longs. There is a wide variation of calibres and chamberings used in F-Open, and the status of "most popular" has changed gradually over my time in the sport. When I started in about 2004, the 6BR with 107SMKs and 6.5-284 with 142SMKs were probably the thing to have. Then over the next few years other 6mms such as the Dasher became the small calibre of choice, and the 284 Win with Berger 168s then 180s for the longs. A good number of leading shooters had both a 6 and 7. The 6.5-284 faded out and the 6.5x47 became popular as an all-rounder. Then along came the SAUM, and while it hasn't by any means put the 284 out of business, it has not only a 150fps velocity advantage, but is reputed to be easier to tune. To its credit, the Dasher maintains it reputation as the "deadliest" 6mm. There are several 6.5mms in that all-rounder niche, but I think the popularity of the Creedmore in tactical etc. is rubbing off onto F-Class. My advice to the likes of Daniel starting in F-Open with one gun (and one chambering) would be to decide what he wants to achieve with that gun. If its to reach Australian team level as soon as possible, then go SAUM. If aspirations are more modest, then a 284 is still capable of winning in any conditions, and Creedmore not too far behind. I would only recommend a 6mm for similar reasons as a .223 in F-Std or F/TR.

John, you mentioned the 6.5-284. I last used one in 2012! The main reason for it falling out of favour was supposedly barrel life. Well, looking at my notes, barrels varied between about 1100 and 1500 rounds. It'd be interesting to see how that compares with SAUMs. And I wonder how 7.5 twist 6.5-284 would go with the new 150gn SMKs, or 153.5 Hybrids? Could be interesting.

Ratgun
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Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#25 Postby Ratgun » Fri May 22, 2020 8:40 pm

Earlier on in the year when it was possible to attend a Prize Meet I was competing in F Open. The winner for the day who didn’t drop a shot was shooting a creedmoor even if was only out to 600 yards and a 6.5 284 second place for agg left plenty of 7mm’s in our wake. Don’t under estimate a 6.5 in the right hands and mindset..

Wiseman7187
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Location: Taree, new, Australia

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#26 Postby Wiseman7187 » Fri May 22, 2020 8:56 pm

Wow that's a lot to read on my small phone screen lol.

It does seem like a lot of choices.

As for discipline shooting long distance I.e. 800metres plus
quite excites me to be honest, but I've also been looking at prs As well for the challenge.

As of now I'm only shooting with club rifle which is .223 and my local range shoots from 200-1000metres.

I'm leaning more towards 6.5 creedmoor atm but. I've already purchased a scope but can't purchase rifle till licence is through but I've had my eye on a bergara hmr pro rifle, and would like to use bipod too.
I know I'll prob be told that's over kill for a first rifle but I know what ever I buy I'll be using for a long time.
I do plan to do my own reloading in time but using factory ammo for awhile till I have build up a bit more skill on basics right first.

I'm allowing 5g for initial set up rifle, scope, bipod, safe etc.

Does any of that help?

Many thanks for so many responses so far.

Daniel

John T
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Location: Brisbane

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#27 Postby John T » Fri May 22, 2020 9:43 pm

Daniel,

if you think your question is difficult, ask what scope you should have purchased.

The rule of thumb is, if you go cheap early, you are throwing your money away against the future.

As a boy from the bush with a restricted budget and a yearning for long range, you will love (308) FTR.

Regards,
John T.

johno
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:07 pm

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#28 Postby johno » Sat May 23, 2020 1:05 am

Go back and read Tim L advice, more people should think like him

Mozzie
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:47 pm
Location: Cairns

Re: Which caliber to ahoot

#29 Postby Mozzie » Sat May 23, 2020 10:40 am

Wiseman
Reference Tim L advice. ( Which I reckon was great)
However there is one thing that I could add.
Yes Australia is home to some of the best f class shooters in the world, with my Cairns club having more than most with the likes of
Marty Lombert, Peter Carter, Steve Lazarus, Mark Azzopardi, along with many other extremely talented shooters who are foward and progressive in passing on there knowledge and helping all who seek to be better, regardless of what calibre they shoot.
And yes on a good day my 6.5 Creedmoor gives them a run for the money.
So, pick a calibre that you want to shoot and feel comfortable with, don't be afraid to ask your fellow shooters for advise and help, most if not all, will be lining up to help if you ask
Cheers
Mozzie
My truck doesn’t run on love, it runs on diesel.
However, I love my rifle and it runs on lead. #-o

Gyro
Posts: 549
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:44 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Which caliber to ahoot for new shooter

#30 Postby Gyro » Sat May 23, 2020 2:14 pm

Wiseman7187 wrote:Wow that's a lot to read on my small phone screen lol.

It does seem like a lot of choices.

As for discipline shooting long distance I.e. 800metres plus
quite excites me to be honest, but I've also been looking at prs As well for the challenge.

As of now I'm only shooting with club rifle which is .223 and my local range shoots from 200-1000metres.

I'm leaning more towards 6.5 creedmoor atm but. I've already purchased a scope but can't purchase rifle till licence is through but I've had my eye on a bergara hmr pro rifle, and would like to use bipod too.
I know I'll prob be told that's over kill for a first rifle but I know what ever I buy I'll be using for a long time.
I do plan to do my own reloading in time but using factory ammo for awhile till I have build up a bit more skill on basics right first.

I'm allowing 5g for initial set up rifle, scope, bipod, safe etc.

Does any of that help?

Many thanks for so many responses so far.

Daniel


A story here about the kind of direction u r considering taking Daniel

https://www.fieldandstream.com/beginner ... id-rifles/


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